Is this the culprit? A private survey shows U.S. private businesses hired fewer workers than expected in October, when the government was shut down in the first half of the month.
U.S. private-sector employers added 130,000 jobs in October, lower than economists' expectations for the month, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast the ADP National Employment Report would show a gain of 150,000 jobs. September's private payrolls gains were revised down to 145,000 from the previously reported 166,000.
The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.
The data comes against the backdrop of a federal government shutdown in the first half of the month, as congressional Republicans sought to undermine President Barack Obama's signature health care law as a condition of funding the government.
Analysts fret that the impasse in Congress dragged on the economy. Standard & Poor's estimated that the showdown shaved $24 billion off the world's largest economy.
"Average monthly growth has fallen below 150,000," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, in a statement. "Any further weakening would signal rising unemployment. The weaker job growth is evident across most industries and company sizes."
First published October 30 2013, 5:52 AM